Go Code Colorado: “This is the epitome of how we should be thinking”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with the Durango High School team that advanced to Go Code Colorado’s mentor weekend in Boulder. Left to right, Noah Clements, Anthony Parker, Cord Arnold, Jarvie Arnold, the secretary of state, Georgia Witchel and Claudia Luthy. (SOS photo)

By Lynn Bartels and Julia Sunny

The Colorado Secretary of State’s data-to-app contest, Go Code Colorado, attracted a variety of entrepreneurs, coders, Google bigwigs and others to its mentor weekend, which kicked off Friday night in Boulder.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who had been in Rifle earlier that morning at a regional clerks training seminar, braved rain, snow, fog and a detour on eastbound Interstate 70 to make it the event, held at Google’s headquarters in Boulder. He noted that some members of the Durango High School challenge team were missing their prom to attend mentor weekend.

State Sen. Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, heaped praise on the Secretary of State’s office and its award-winning Go Code Colorado program.

“This is, in my opinion, the epitome of how we should be thinking about government moving forward,” Fenberg said. “We should be thinking about how to take the assets and the innovation of the new industries that are popping up around tech and see how that expertise and that talent solves some of the problems that maybe government can’t do on its own.”

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Go Code Colorado: using public data to make business decisions

One of the finalist teams, Cache Money, from the Go Code Colorado challenge weekend in Colorado Springs poses with Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Left to right, Eric Meldrum, Williams, Daniel Baliczek, Lallo Vigil and Aaron Kern. (Photo by Stellar Propeller Studio)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams traveled across the state over the weekend to attend Go Code Colorado challenges in four cities, giving him a first-hand look at how entrepreneurs, software developers and innovators use public data in an attempt to come up with the next great app.

Williams visited Grand Junction Friday night, Fort Collins Saturday morning, Denver Saturday afternoon and Colorado Springs Sunday evening. The only challenge city he  missed was Durango, which is where Williams in 2016 kicked off his Go Code Colorado tour.  The 10 finalists teams — two from each location — were announced Monday.

“Water rights, farm-fresh food and housing development are a few of our favorite teams,” read the headline on the news release from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and staffer Andrew Cole, who oversees the Go Code Colorado program. (SOS photo)

Those 10 teams will now head to an  expenses-paid Mentorship Weekend April 21-23 in Boulder, on their way to compete in the May 24th Final Competition event. At stake are three $25,000 contracts.

Gazette reporter Wayne Heilman, who has covered several Go Code Colorado competitions, wrote that the two Colorado Springs finalist teams “hope to continue the success of Hively.”

That’s the 2016 local team that became the first from the Springs to win the competition with its web-based application to help match employers with potential employees.

About Go Code Colorado: Go Code Colorado is a statewide business app challenge housed in the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. The award-winning challenge is the first and only statewide effort of its kind that uses public data to solve business problems. It is overseen by staffer Andrew Cole.

There’s an app for that: Colorado’s cool tech challenge

Entrepreneurs, coders and others Wednesday as Go Code Colorado prepares to kick off for the fourth year. (SOS photo)

The enthusiasm this week at the fourth “Go Code Colorado” kickoff reverberated as top tech leaders from across the state discussed how the award-winning program has created a community around entrepreneurship and driven innovation through the use of public data.

“You are part of an exciting thing,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told the crowd at Galvanize in the Golden Triangle.

Simon Tafoya, senior director of policy for Gov. John Hickenlooper, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Go Code Colorado kickoff Wednesday in Denver. (SOS photo)

“You are part of a different type of government, a government that says we want people to have information, and we want to make that information accessible. We use public data throughout this program, and we have wonderful partners throughout state government.”

The secretary mentioned some of last year’s challenge winners, which ranged from an app that helps food trucks figure out where they should locate, to one that helped oil-and-gas companies as they locate wells to minimize  disruptive impact on the surrounding community.

“We had phenomenal issues and suggestions and conceptions and presentations,” Williams said.

The program was developed by the Secretary of State’s office and is overseen by staffer Andrew Cole. Among the awards it has received  is recognition from CIO Magazine, a premier content and community resource for information technology executives and leaders.

For more information on the program — including the dates and cities of the challenges — go to gocode.Colorado.gov.

Secretary Williams announces 2016 Go Code Colorado challenge winners

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and members of three winning teams that competed in the Go Code Colorado challenger. (SOS photo by Judd Choate)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and members of the winning teams that competed in the Go Code Colorado challenge take the stage at the Seawell Ballroom Thursday night in Denver . (SOS photo by Judd Choate)

Have you ever hired someone who looked great on paper but once in the job, not so much?

There’s an app for that.

Dalton Patterson and his family had plenty to cheer about after his team, Hively, was one of the winners at the Go Code Colorado challenge Thursday night. From left to right: Amberleigh, 11 months behind held by her dad, Dalson, 7, Dayton, 9 and Amber Patterson. (SOS photo)
Dalton Patterson and his family had plenty to cheer about after his team, Hively, was one of the winners at the Go Code Colorado finale. From left to right: Amberleigh, 11 months, and her dad; Dalson, 7; Dayton; 9 and Amber Patterson. (SOS photo)

One of the award winners in this year’s Go Code Colorado challenge was Hively, a Colorado Springs team that created a platform for companies to connect with potential employees based on personality match.

“We plan to revolutionize the way companies hire,” said Dalton Patterson of Hively. “Hively finds talent you need with personality that fits.”

Go Code Colorado is a statewide business app challenge housed in Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office.

The award-winning challenge — the first and only statewide effort of its kind — brings together a community of entrepreneurs, business partners and software developers to use public data to solve business problems.

“This year’s challenge was the best yet,” said Andrew Cole, the program manager for Go Code Colorado. “The ideas and presentations were powerful examples of the value of public data when put in the hands of creative technologists.”

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SIPA doles out micro-grants to help Colorado governments get online

Andrew Cole, who oversees the Go Code Colorado program and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, with their micro-grant.
Andrew Cole, who oversees the Go Code Colorado program and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, with their micro-grant certificate.

An app for anglers statewide, a GIS map for fire hydrants in the Le Veta Fire Protection District and scanning newspaper articles about the Chicano movement for Colorado State University at Pueblo — those proposals and more received micro-grants Tuesday night from a program designed to help government put more information and services online.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office also was awarded a grant, of $5,000, for its awarding-winning Go Code Colorado program, which helps make government data more easily assessable and understandable.

The grants were doled out from the Statewide Internet Portal Authority or SIPA, which explores how citizens can electronically access state government information, products and services. Williams serves on SIPA’s board.

More than $100,000 was awarded at the ceremony at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center, where Williams spoke to the crowd. Lawmakers, including Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor, were on hand to give out the awards.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, back right and to the right, and other members of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority after micro-grants were awarded Tuesday night.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, second row and to the right, and other members of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority after micro-grants were awarded Tuesday night.